Saturday, March 07, 2015

Woodland House (Prahran) 03/2015

Despite some general reservations about this sort of thing , by this I mean this sort of degustation menu, as a meal I have developed a great liking for this particular restaurant. You have to be aware of my bias here because it is certainly not a meal that would appeal to everybody, no matter how good the individual dishes are. The five or eight courses may have carbohydrate, protein and fat and quite a few vitamins  but it does not aim to be nutritionally balanced or healthy. It;s entertainment and fun through food and eating and it is a display of skill, talent and technique not seen in any but the very best restaurants.
These meals are invariably presented by extremely courteous, well mannered wait staff, often dressed better than their clients if not in the house uniform.
Here they were prompt, offering bread frequently, and quenelles of their celery salted house creamed butter
and attending to supplies of water and ice without needing to be called  One expects nothing less. Here we are paying a little extra to enjoy being pampered. Dishes were presented at a reasonable rate.
Some were extremely small but nothing like the extreme in this where a course has been known to be no more than an aroma, or a single small leaf, which we experienced at Alinea.
This, with a few comments, was our menu:
Foie gras, kiwi
About as big as a double size jelly bean, the foie gras was liquid and unrecognizable!
Salt baked abalone, enoki,duck consommé

The  consommé, which was delicious, was poured from a cute open mouthed ceramic porpoise.
2009 Coteaux du Layon Carte d`Or Domaine Baumard , Loire Valley, France
Air dried tuna, two paper thin tiny slices with silken tofu, wasabi and a spot of caviar.
 A curiosity.
Alaskan snow crab, samphire cucumber
2013 Soave Classico DOC, Pieropan, Veneto, Italy
Murray cod, jamon, pickled kombu, radish
Sustainably farmed, a very fine fish.
2012  Bannockburn Chardonnay, Geelong, Vic, Australia
School prawn, spring onion, red rice.
Not on the menu this was an incredible dish, wonderful texture, delicate flavour and textural variation.

A real go to dish if it is on their a la carte menu.
Western Plains pork, chestnut grilled pear
It is a shame to serve two tiny bites of a dish as excellent as this one is. Twic as much would be more satisfactory.
2013 Moulin A nt ‘Les Trois Roches’ Pierre Chermette, Beaujolais, France
Sher wagyu, burnt eggplant, miso and sesame
Six hours at 64 degrees resulted in this beautiful taste filled meat. Very satisfying dish.
2010 Starlane Merlot, Beechworth, Vic, Australia
Gippsland lamb fillet, saffron, lettuce, cured belly
We requested blue and got this.
The chef was apologetic and produced this.

Both were excellent! 2010 Agricola Punica Barrua IGT, Sardinia, Italy
Buckwheat and white chocolate, raspberry vinegar
Charred mango, apricot and yuzu, pistachio
Not overwhelmingly sweet, a good end to the meal
2013 De Iuliis Late Picked Semillon, Hunter Valley, NSW, Australia
 cheese course is an extra $15
a la carte available Tuesday and Thursday 4 Courses $90 | 5 Courses $110 | 6 Courses $130
Our meal $235 including wine $145 without matched wines (I think!)
Score:16.5 /20